Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



GUERDON, n. ger’don. A reward; requital; recompense; in a good or bad sense.

GUERDON, v.t. To reward.

GUERDONLESS, a. Unrecompensed.

GUESS, v.t. ges. [L. conjicio; Eng. to gush.]

1. To conjecture; to form an opinion without certain principles or means of knowledge; to judge at random, either of a present unknown fact, or of a future fact.

First, if thou canst, the harder reason guess.

2. To judge or form an opinion from some reasons that render a thing probable, but fall short of sufficient evidence. From slight circumstances or occasional expressions, we guess an author’s meaning.

3. To hit upon by accident.

GUESS, v.i. To conjecture; to judge at random. We do not know which road to take, but we must guess at it.
GUESS, n. Conjecture; judgment without any certain evidence or grounds.

A poet must confess

His arts like physic, but a happy guess.

GUESSED, pp. Conjectured; divined.

GUESSER, n. One who guesses; a conjecturer; one who judges or gives an opinion without certain means of knowing.

GUESSING, ppr. Conjecturing; judging without certain evidence, or grounds of opinion.

GUESSINGLY, adv. By way of conjecture.

GUEST, n. gest. [L. visito; Eng. visit.]

1. A stranger; one who comes from a distance, and takes lodgings at a place, either for a night or for a longer time.

2. A visitor; a stranger or friend, entertained in the house or at the table of another, whether by invitation or otherwise.

The wedding was furnished with guests. Matthew 22:10.

GUEST-CHAMBER, n. An apartment appropriated to the entertainment of guests. Mark 14:14.

GUEST-RITE, n. Office due to a guest.

GUEST-ROPE, GUESS-ROPE, n. A rope to tow with, or to make fast a boat.

GUESTWISE, adv. In the manner of a guest.

GUGGLE. [See Gurgle.]

GUHR, n. A loose, earthy deposit from water, found in the cavities or clefts of rocks, mostly white, but sometimes red or yellow, from a mixture of clay or ocher.

GUIDABLE, a. That may be guided or governed by counsel.

GUIDAGE, n. [See Guide.] The reward given to a guide for services. [Little used.]

GUIDANCE, n. [See Guide.] The act of guiding; direction; government; a leading. Submit to the guidance of age and wisdom.

GUIDE, v.t. gide.

1. To lead or direct in a way; to conduct in a course or path; as, to guide an enemy or a traveler, who is not acquainted with the road or course.

The meek will he guide in judgment. Psalm 25:9.

2. To direct; to order.

He will guide his affairs with discretion. Psalm 112:5.

3. To influence; to give direction to. Men are guided by their interest, or supposed interest.

4. To instruct and direct. Let parents guide their children to virtue, dignity and happiness.

5. To direct; to regulate and manage; to superintend.

I will that the younger women marry, bear children, and guide the house. 1 Timothy 5:14.


1. A person who leads or directs another in his way or course; a conductor. The army followed the guide. The traveler may be deceived by his guide.

2. One who directs another in his conduct or course of life.

He will be our guide, even unto death. Psalm 48:14.

3. A director; a regulator; that which leads or conducts. Experience is one of our best guides.

GUIDED, pp. Led; conducted; directed in the way; instructed and directed.

GUIDELESS, a. Destitute of a guide; wanting a director.

GUIDEPOST, n. A post at the forks of a road, for directing travelers the way.

GUIDER, n. A guide; one who guides or directs.

GUIDING, ppr. Leading; conducting; directing; superintending.

GUIDON, n. The flag or standard of a troop of cavalry; or the standard-bearer.

GUILD, n. gild. In England, a society, fraternity or company, associated for some purpose, particularly for carrying on commerce. The merchant-guilds of our ancestors, answer to our modern corporations. They were licensed by the king, and governed by laws and orders of their own. Hence the name Guild-hall, the great court of judicature in London.

GUILDABLE, a. Liable to a tax.

GUILDER, n. [See Gilder.]

GUILE, n. gile. Craft; cunning; artifice; duplicity; deceit; usually in a bad sense.

We may, with more successful hope, resolve

To wage by force or guile eternal war.

Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile. John 1:47.

GUILE, v.t. To disguise craftily.

GUILEFUL, a. Cunning; drafty; artful; wily; deceitful; insidious; as a guileful person.

1. Treacherous; deceitful.

2. Intended to deceive; as guileful words.

GUILEFULLY, adv. Artfully; insidiously; treacherously.

GUILEFULNESS, n. Deceit, secret treachery.

GUILDLESS, a. Free from guile or deceit; artless; frank; sincere; honest.

GUILELESSNESS, n. Simplicity; freedom from guile.

GUILER, n. One who betrays into danger by insidious arts. [Not used.]

GUILLEMOT, n. A water fowl of the genus Colymbus, and order of ansers. It is found in the northern parts of Europe, Asia, and America.

GUILLOTIN, n. An engine or machine for beheading persons at a stroke.

GUILLOTIN, v.t. To behead with the guillotin.

GUILLS, n. A plant, the corn marigold.

GUILT, n. gilt.

1. Criminality; that state of a moral agent which results from his actual commission of a crime or offense, knowing it to be a crime, or violation of law. To constitute guilt there must be a moral agent enjoying freedom of will, and capable of distinguishing between right and wrong, and a wilful or intentional violation of a known law, or rule of duty. The guilt of a person exists, as soon as the crime is committed; but to evince it to others, it must be proved by confession, or conviction in due course of law. Guilt renders a person a debtor to the law, as it binds him to pay a penalty in money or suffering. Guilt therefore implies both criminality and liableness to punishment. Guilt may proceed either from a positive act or breach of law, or from voluntary neglect of known duty.

2. Criminality in a political or civil view; exposure to forfeiture or other penalty.

A ship incurs guilt by the violation of a blockade.

3. Crime; offense.

GUILTILY, adv. In a manner to incur guilt, not innocently.

GUILTINESS, n. The state of being guilty; wickedness; criminality; guilt.

GUILTLESS, a. Free from guilt, crime or offense; innocent.

The Lord will not hold him guiltless, that taketh his name in vain. Exodus 20:7.

1. Not produced by the slaughter of animals.

But from the mountain’s grassy side

A guiltless feast I bring.

GUILTLESSLY, adv. Without guilt; innocently.

GUILTLESSNESS, n. Innocence; freedom from guilt or crime.

GUILT-SICK, a. Diseased in consequence of guilt.

GUILTY, a. gilt’y. Criminal; having knowingly committed a crime or offense, or having violated a law by an overt act or by neglect, and by that act or neglect, being liable to punishment; not innocent. It may be followed by of; as, to be guilty of theft or arson.

Nor he, nor you, were guilty of the strife.

1. Wicked; corrupt; sinful; as a guilty world.

2. Conscious.

In Scripture, to be guilty of death, is to have committed a crime which deserves death. Matthew 26:66.

To be guilty of the body and blood of Christ, is to be chargeable with the crime of crucifying Christ afresh, and offering indignity to his person and righteousness, represented by the symbols of the Lord’s supper. 1 Corinthians 11:27.

GUINEA, n. gin’ny. Formerly, a gold coin in Great Britain of the value of twenty one shillings sterling, equal to $4.66 2/3rds, American money.

GUINEA-DROPPER, n. One who cheats by dropping guineas.

GUINEA-HEN, n. The Numida meleagris, a fowl of the gallinaceous order, a native of Africa. It is larger than the common domestic hen, and has a kind of colored fleshy horn on each side of the head. Its color is a dark gray, beautifully variegated with small white spots.

GUINEA-PEPPER, n. A plant, the Capsicum. The pods of some species are used for pickles.

GUINEA-PIG, n. In zoology, a quadruped of the genus Cavia or cavy, found in Brazil. It is about seven inches in length, and of a white color, variegated with spots of orange and black.

GUINIAD, GWINIAD, n. The whiting, a fish of the salmon or trout kind, found in many lakes in Europe and in Hudson’s bay. It is gregarious, and may be taken in vast numbers at a draught.

GUISE, n. gize.

1. External appearance; dress; garb. He appeared in the guise of a shepherd. The hypocrite wears the guise of religion.

That love which is without dissimulation, wears not the guise of modern liberality.

2. Manner; mien; cast of behavior.

By their guise

Just men they seem.

3. Custom; mode; practice.

The swain replied, it never was our guise,

To slight the poor, or aught humane despise.

GUISER, n. gi’zer. A person in disguise; a mummer who goes about at Christmas.

GUITAR, n. git`ar. [L. cithara.] A stringed instrument of music; in England and the United States, used chiefly by ladies, but in Spain and Italy, much used by men.

GULA, GOLA, n. An ogee or wavy member in a building; the cymatium.

GULAUND, n. An aquatic fowl of a size between a duck and a goose; the breast and belly white; the head mallard green. It inhabits Iceland.

GULCH, n. A glutton; a swallowing or devouring. [Not used.]

GULCH, v.t. To swallow greedily. [Not used.]

GULES, n. In heraldry, a term denoting red, intended perhaps to represent courage, animation or hardihood.

GULF, n.

1. A recess in the ocean from the general line of the shore into the land, or a tract of water extending from the ocean or a sea into the land, between two points or promontories; a large bay; as the gulf of Mexico; the gulf of Venice; the gulf of Finland. A gulf and a bay differ only in extent. We apply bay to a large or small recess of the sea, as the bay of Biscay, the bay of Fundy; but gulf is applied only to a large extent of water.

2. An abyss; a deep place in the earth; as the gulf of Avernus.

3. A whirlpool; an absorbing eddy.

4. Any thing insatiable.

GULF-INDENTED, a. Indented with gulfs or bays.

GULFY, a. Full of whirlpools or gulfs; as a gulfy sea.

GULL, v.t. To deceive; to cheat; to mislead by deception; to trick; to defraud.

The vulgar, gull’d into rebellion, armed.

GULL, n. A cheating or cheat; trick; fraud.

1. One easily cheated.

GULL, n. A marine fowl of the genus Larus, and order of ansers. There are several species.

GULLCATCHER, n. A cheat; a man who cheats or entraps silly people.

GULLED, pp. Cheated; deceived; defrauded.

GULLER, n. A cheat; an imposter.

GULLERY, n. Cheat. [Not used.]

GULLET, n. [L. gula.] The passage in the neck of an animal by which food and liquor are taken into the stomach; the esophagus.

1. A stream or lake. [Not used.]

GULLIED, pp. Having a hollow worn by water.

GULLISH, n. Foolish; stupid. [Not in use.]

GULLISHNESS, n. Foolishness; stupidity. [Not in use.]

GULLY, n. A channel or hollow worn in the earth by a current of water.

GULLY, v.t. To wear a hollow channel in the earth.
GULLY, v.i. To run with noise. [Not in use.]

GULLYHOLE, n. An opening where gutters empty their contents into the subterraneous sewer.

GULOSITY, n. [L. gulosus, from gula, the gullet.]

Greediness; voracity; excessive appetite for food. [Little used.]

GULP, v.t. To swallow eagerly, or in large draughts.

To gulp up, to throw up from the throat or stomach; to disgorge.

GULP, n. A swallow, or as much as is swallowed at once.

1. A disgorging.

GULPH. [See Gulf.]

GUM, n. The hard fleshy substance of the jaws which invests the teeth.

GUM, n. [L. gummi.] The mucilage of vegetables; a concrete juice which exudes through the bark of trees, and thickens on the surface. It is soluble in water, to which it gives a viscous and adhesive quality. It is insoluble in alcohol, and coagulates in weak acids. When dry, it is transparent and brittle, not easily pulverized, and of an insipid or slightly saccharine taste. Gum differs from resin in several particulars, but custom has inaccurately given the name of gum to several resins and gum-resins, as gum-copal. gum-sandarach, gum-ammoniac, and others. The true gums are gumarabic, gum-senegal, gum-tragacanth, and the gums of the peach, plum and cherry trees, etc.

Gum-elastic, or Elastic-gum, [caoutchouc,] is a singular substance, obtained from a tree in America by incision. It is a white juice, which, when dry, becomes very tough and elastic, and is used for bottles, surgical instruments, etc.

GUM, v.t. To smear with gum.

1. To unite by a viscous substance.

GUM-ARABIC, n. A gum which flows from the acacia, in Arabia, Egypt, etc.

GUM-BOIL, n. A boil on the gum.

GUMLAC, n. The produce of an insect which deposits its eggs on the branches of a tree called bihar, in Assam, a country bordering on Tibet, and elsewhere in Asia. [See Lac.]

GUM-RESIN, n. [See Resin.] A mixed juice of plants, consisting of resin and an extractive matter, which has been taken for a gummy substance. The gum-resins do not flow naturally from plants, but are mostly extracted by incision, in the form of white, yellow or red emulsive fluids, which dry and consolidate. The most important species are olibanum, galbanum, scammony, gamboge, euphorbium, assafetida, aloes, myrrh, and gum-ammoniac.

Gum-resins are natural combinations of gum and resin.

Gum-resins are composed of a gum or extractive matter, and a body intermediate between oil and resin; to which last they owe their peculiar properties.

GUM-SENEGAL, n. A gum resembling gum-arabic, brought from the country of the river Senegal in Africa.

GUM-TRAGACANTH, n. The gum of a thorny shrub of that name, in Crete, Asia and Greece.

GUMMINESS, n. The state or quality of being gummy; viscousness.

1. Accumulation of gum.

GUMMOSITY, n. The nature of gum; gumminess; a viscous or adhesive quality.

GUMMOUS, a. Of the nature or quality of gum; viscous; adhesive.

GUMMY, a. Consisting of gum; of the nature of gum; viscous; adhesive.

1. Productive of gum.

2. Covered with gum or viscous matter.

GUMP, n. A foolish person; a dolt. [Vulgar.]

GUMPTION, n. Care; skill; understanding. [Vulgar.]

GUN, n. An instrument consisting of a barrel or tube of iron or other metal fixed in a stock, from which balls, shot or other deadly weapons are discharged by the explosion of gunpowder. The larger species of guns are called cannon; and the smaller species are called muskets, carbines, fowling pieces, etc. But one species of fire-arms, the pistol, is never called a gun.

GUN, v.i. To shoot.

GUN-BARREL, n. The barrel or tube of a gun.

GUNBOAT, n. A boat or small vessel fitted to carry a gun or two at the bow.

GUN-CARRIAGE, n. A wheel carriage for bearing and moving cannon.

GUNNEL. [See Gunwale.]

GUNNER, n. One skilled in the use of guns; a cannoneer; an officer appointed to manage artillery. The gunner of a ship of war has the charge of the ammunition and artillery, and his duty is to keep the latter in good order, and to teach the men the exercise of the guns.

GUNNERY, n. The act of charging, directing and firing guns, as cannon, mortars and the like. Gunnery is founded on the science of projectiles.

GUNNING, n. The act of hunting or shooting game with a gun.

GUNPOWDER, n. A composition of saltpeter, sulphur and charcoal, mixed and reduced to a fine powder, then granulated and dried. It is used in artillery, in shooting game, in blasting rocks, etc.

GUNROOM, n. In ships, an apartment on the after end of the lower gun-deck, occupied by the gunner, or by the lieutenants as a mess-room.

GUNSHOT, n. The distance of the point blank range of a cannon-shot.

GUNSHOT, a. Made by the shot of a gun; as a gunshot wound.

GUNSMITH, n. A maker of small arms; one whose occupation is to make or repair small fire-arms.

GUNSMITHERY, n. The business of a gunsmith; the art of making small firearms.